[LAU] Phonic Helix Board 12 FireWireMKIIcompatibility(linux/ffado)

pete shorthose zenadsl6252 at zen.co.uk
Sat Feb 14 15:20:53 EST 2009

On Tue, 10 Feb 2009 17:19:53 +0000
pete shorthose <zenadsl6252 at zen.co.uk> wrote:

> On Tue, 10 Feb 2009 14:26:03 -0000
> "Simon W. Fielding" <s.fielding at wmcce.org> wrote:
> > >All of which indicates that I would see similar results on my system unless there is some kind of 
> > >bug or problem that only affects you. In effect, you are seeing  >1000% penalty for the use of firewire. 
> > >Which is pretty horrific. 
> > I guess that appears to be the case - unless someone more expert has any better opinions.
> Ok well all the information is pointing one way.. the dell may not be able to use this nor in in fact any
> firewire audio device and the firewire setup on linux seems to be extremely inefficient going by the
> information available. As such I decided the only thing to do was to ignore it all and buy one anyway. =]
> I'll jump in the pit with it and go a few rounds. If I don't get anywhere I'll sell it on or use it on windows.
> I'll report back with any linux related results (ie not bad dell hardware problems which are outside the
> scope of this list really). It should arrive in a couple of days.

Ok, a small udpate on my experience with ffado, the hb 12MKII and my dell inspiron 9400.

..the abridged version:

argh.. xrun xrun.. nooo  xrun xrun.. remove dvd drive.. xrun xrun.. remove wireless and disable
ethernet... xrun.. try every other damn thing that people suggested.. xrun xrun.. 
eventually discover that i8k.ko and thermal.ko cause cpu spikes.. remove them.. oh look,
rock solid RT performance with -r 96000 -p 256 -n 2 and 6.6% reported cpu usage when idle
(no connections). 

And they all skipped off into the woods to live noisily ever after.
The moral of the story.. DON'T buy an expresscard firewire interface until you have
exhausted all possibilities. Damn it. (probably wouldn't have helped anyway)

Note that I put everything back as it was. It was only the thermal and i8k (dell fan/temp) module
that seem to have caused problems. also for google reference:
pete at one:~$ lspci -nn|grep -i firewire
03:01.0 FireWire (IEEE 1394) [0c00]: Ricoh Co Ltd R5C832 IEEE 1394 Controller [1180:0832]

Incidentally, does anyone know why this thing (the phonic) has 2 firewire ports on it?


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